Leeds Rhinos were brutally beaten yesterday by Wigan Warriors as they lost 50-0 to their rivals hurting their chances of competing with Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils in the play off race.
The Rhinos have to take responsibility for the defeat despite the fact some were left unimpressed by one decision which left Leeds legend Ryan Bailey baffled.
The try in question saw Liam Farrell leap to try and claim a well placed Harry Smith kick with a Leeds defender failing to gather and dropping the ball.
Jai Field was the first to react and he pounced on the ball to ground it and double Wigan’s lead from 6-0 to 12-0, but referee jack Smith ruled no try.
The incident was sent to the video referee who on initial angles was seemingly ready to dismiss the try and agree with on field referee Smith.
That was until a the camera cut away and a second angle emerged seconds before he delivered the final verdict,
Liam Farrell’s hand never touched the ball at all, it was imply a spilled ball by the Rhinos winger David Fusitu’a and therefore a perfectly valid try.
Upon being awarded it caused major boos around Headingley and fans on social media also had their say.
You can see the incident here.
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) September 9, 2023
One fan asked for better neutrality among referees.
So let’s get this straight. The match official is from Wigan and the video referee is from Wigan. Surely in the interest of neutrality there are other referees available for Leeds v Wigan.
— Mike Dodgson (@dodgson_mike) September 9, 2023
Meanwhile, Bailey said: “The video referee must have sun stroke.”
This video ref must have sun stroke 🤦🏾♂️
— RYAN BAILEY (@BAILS168) September 9, 2023
The try couldn’t excuse what was a terrible day at the office for the Rhinos as Jake Wardle notched a hat trick for the first time in his career as Leeds were blown away.
Rohan Smith though did point to the decision himself on YouTube: “It’s clearly disappointing. The players have put a lot of effort in today. The opening period was a good arm wrestle. We got beaten to the punch a bit on a couple of kick plays, a video ref one that went a long way – and there were a lot of replays on that one.
“We were second best against a very, very strong Wigan team. There are a lot of players in our group that are doing their best for the team at the moment. They’re trying hard playing out of position or more minutes than expected.”